Exam week is typically comprised of hyper-stressful studying, frantic cramming before exams and attempting to recall information not covered since September. It seems unreasonable that, on top of all this, teachers should continue to introduce new material throughout the exam portion of the year.
Some, recognizing the importance of final exams, split up the curriculum so that they do not introduce new material until after exams. Others, feeling that they need to complete the entirety of the curriculum, continue to teach in spite of exams.
This is a necessary evil for all involved. Teachers expect students to retain a certain amount of material from the year, which can lead to compressed scheduling towards the end of the year.
It does seem remarkable that teachers have the ability to plan out their entire year before the school year, and yet still end up behind schedule towards May and June. Common logic suggests that teachers would be prepared for this, and yet it never happens. There is no excuse for snow days this year. The school simply ends up behind schedule.
The seemingly logical solution would be to account for this; overload the curriculum in the beginning of the year, when less is occurring, and cover a smaller amount of material during the latter half of the year. Yet, the opposite occurs.
Regardless of cause, this is detrimental to students. IB exams are incredibly stressful, and for a school so proud of its vaunted exam results, educators do not seem to impress the importance of exams to its staff and students.
What instead seems necessary is a compromise of sorts. Students need to prepare for exams, and teachers need to complete a curriculum. There is no one solution. Perhaps, there could be an exemption in the days surrounding exams for particular students.
An argument certainly exists, with a fair amount of merit, that says that exam preparation is the responsibility of the student. That is to say, students are aware of their responsibilities, which include both continued learning as well as exams. Teachers should not be required to accommodate students in this manner; rather, students are expected to be in control of their own destiny.